Modcast #174: Tom Furse (The Horrors)

As adored gothic-rock turned psych-new wave group The Horrors emerge from their East London studio with album #4 in the bag, keyboardist Tom Furse dives straight back into his record collection to compile this journey. No surprise that these sonic adventurers and musical sponges have immaculate taste, collecting from every record store in every town on tour.

This month The Horrors return to the stage as part of the amazing BBC 6 Music Festival lineup while Furse will also soundtrack visual artist Trevor Jackson's Palindrome installation at ICA. We sat down to discuss both events, recording the new album and an appreciation for Wes Anderson.

So you've just finished recording The Horrors' album #4. How was the experience this time round? Did you produce it yourselves?

I don't know if every time we've made an album it's been hard and over time I've just erased the majority of the bad stuff but this one took some serious effort to get finished and it was tough. It was sometimes delirious fun and other times quite painful. We did produce it ourselves along with Craig Silvey, who's now on his third record with us. Craig's the man.

Without giving too much away, what can we expect?

I think it's our best effort so far, every song has something special going for it. The songwriting has taken a step up so I think you can expect a bit more coherence, and a fair few unexpected turns. I don't want to say too much as we've done a good job of keeping stuff under wraps. It's definitely a step up.

This month The Horrors play the inaugural BBC 6Music Festival. Are the new songs up to scratch?

We're rehearsing at the moment, the new songs sound great and I've been saying for a while now are the kind of tracks that are going to set festivals alight. We're going to ease the new ones in though, the album's not out until later in the year and we don't want to give away too many surprises to Youtube.

Speaking of the BBC, you're a fanatic of the Radiophonic Workshop, heavily referenced by your imaginary library music ensemble Spider and the Flies. You even dedicated a fanzine to the sound effects studio. Why the fascination?

I'm fascinated with lots of old electronics music, the methods behind the compositions are often quite interesting and the sounds they get are out of this world. I'm a big fan of Delia Derbyshire and John Baker, I would give a lot to be able to sit down and have a chat with those two. Spider And The Flies was a wonderfully naive jaunt into the world of electronics, and still one of my favourite records I've been involved.

We're big fans of some of the filmmaker's you've worked with in the past - the legendary Chris Cunningham, Australian abroad Dave Ma, The Jesus and Mary Chain's Douglas Hart and toy designer Pete Fowler. Living or dead, who would be your ultimate director for the next video clip?

It might be a bit cliché but I'd love Wes Anderson to make us a video. I love a fully realised alternative reality and I think he does a fantastic job of creating a whole world inside his aesthetic. Perhaps a short film Wes? C'mon...

What can you tell us about the forthcoming event you're involved in at the Institute of Contemporary Arts?

Trevor Jackson asked me to DJ at an event around the Richard Hamilton retrospective that's going on. I've really admired Hamilton's work from afar and I'm looking forward to getting up close to it. I see a lot of parallels between sample based music and Hamilton's work so I'm going to play a set that reflects those musings.

Of all the artists featured in the modcast, who do you encourage listeners to explore further?

My Modcast was all about stuff I've been listening to recently, music that's caught my attention and imagination. I'd say every single artist featured on it has a treasure trove of wonderful music to dive into. So I'd say check them all out. Special mention to some of the newer material on there, Peaking Lights, MGMT, Connan Mockasin, all have been killing it recently. It's a great time for music.


Pye Corner Audio - Print Through
Adrian Baker and Roy Morgan - In Close Harmony
Todd Rundgren - The Spark of Life
Pastor T.L. Barrett - Like A Ship
Wings - Bluebird
MGMT - Alien Days
Peaking Lights - My Heart Dubs 4 U
Marcia Aitken - I'm Still In Love
Lee "Scratch" Perry - Disco Devil
7 Days of Funk - Do My Thang
Connan Mockasin - I Wann Roll With You

February 6, 2014 at 4:10pm in modcast



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